More to give: Tyrone Smith said he can’t guarantee a medal at the London Olympics, but he can guarantee he we be prepared as the best that he can. *Reuters photo
More to give: Tyrone Smith said he can’t guarantee a medal at the London Olympics, but he can guarantee he we be prepared as the best that he can. *Reuters photo

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9: Tyrone Smith knows with great talent comes great responsibility.

The Olympic-qualified long jumper will be returning to Bermuda in two weeks time as one of the special speakers fort he Bermuda Track and Field banquet.

Arantxa King will join him on the dais.

Smith said: “I always try to find ways to give back to the programmes that helped me — both in Bermuda and Chicago where I spent my high school years.

“It’s really a great honour to be asked to speak to younger athletes because there’s so many choices the BTFA can have or so many mentors they can ask to speak to the kids.”

Smith said he’s in that middle age bracket where he’s not retired from the sport but he’s not just finding his way either.

“I’m still competing, but I’m an older athlete now – 27-years-old — so I can really provide some insights to a lot of the younger athletes.

“I’m kind of the face of Bermuda Track and Field as I’m out on the international circuit — the World Championships, the Olympics and the professional level meets.

“We haven’t had anyone competing at that level since Brian (Wellman).

“So for me being invited to speak is a huge honour, but with great honour comes great responsibility.

“I am looking forward to giving them a very well-prepared speech and hopefully getting through to some of them and connecting more with the athletes.”

Smith said he hopes that the younger athletes are inspired to keep competing beyond primary and middle schools.

“I want them to be able to stick with it and show them that it can be done.”

And Smith has proved that it is possible to keep striving and reach the highest levels of sport.

He said next year’s London Games means he is in for a lot of work to make sure he is prepared to do the best he can.

“I feel like I’m an athlete who’s shown immense potential, but I haven’t cashed it in on the world stage yet.

“I’ve had really great and successful CAC regionals. I had a bronze medal at the CAC Games leading into Beijing. Now I have a CAC gold heading into London.

“I’m really looking forward to going on the world stage and representing both Bermuda and the CAC.

“Going to the Olympics means a lot to me. It’s the epitome, the peak of every athlete who competes at an Olympic level sport.

“I’ve gone and represented, now it’s time to bring home something.

“I’m not going to guarantee a medal, but what I can guarantee is I’m training harder than I ever have in my entire career.

“I’m exhausted.

“I’m training extremely hard and I’m looking forward to forward to London and the World Indoor Championships in March in Instanbul, Turkey.”

Carifta

He said he was hoping the World Championships would help build momentum going into the Olympics.

“The training that I am doing is definitely preparing me for that.”

Smith also said there was an incredible opportunity that lay ahead for Bermuda’s young track and field athletes with the Carifta Games being held here in 2012.

“As you get older you begin to realize the home advantage is such a big deal.

“It’s going to be so beneficial for these young athletes to have a home advantage for the Carifta Games.

“Not having to worry about a hotel or what time the bus runs or what time they have to eat breakfast or what time they have to wake up is a big deal.

“They can arrive at the track like they’re going to practice.

“When I compete here in Houston, I always jump eight metres. It has nothing to do with the training, it has to do with being comfortable.”